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The wonderful and informative cycling blog The Inner Ring has just posted an amazing review of Daniel Friebe’s book (with stunning photographs by Pete Goding) chronicling the top 50 cycle climbs in Europe Mountain High:
I could just say this is a great book that is well-researched and complete with stunning photographs. But there’s plenty more to add.
Cycling journalist Daniel Friebe and photographer Pete Goding cover 50 climbs that feature in the sport.
This isn’t “The 50 Best Climbs”, nor a ranking of the hardest roads in Europe, instead it’s just a collection of 50 great climbs, if you can see the distinction.
They go in order of altitude, starting with the Koppenberg that sits proud of the sea by just 78 metres and finishing with a road considered too high for cycling in Europe, the Pico de Veleta that tops out at 3,384 metres. In between there are some classics of the sport, usual suspects like La Redoute in the Ardennes, Mont Ventoux, the Tourmalet, the Galibier, the Stelvio. But there are more, including surprises chosen for aesthetics and beauty.
Each climb gets a few pages of stunning photography, history, anecdotes as well as a “fact file” that locates the climb and offers notes on the length, gradient and a profile. The writing is well-researched and goes beyond pro cycling.
Friebe often provides the history of a pass, how it was used by smugglers or built under the orders of a dictator, king or emperor. Pioneers like Edward Whymper are cited and there are quotes from early travel books too, recalling the days when these high passes were an adventure instead of a transport artery.
With a bike of course they remain an adventure[...]
Head over to The Inner Ring to read this fantastic article in full.